Italian Language Blog

Take a Seat – part 2 Posted by on Jun 2, 2010 in Grammar

In part one of this blog I listed a few of the different kinds of things on which one sits. Part two will deal with how we ask or tell people to take a seat.

1. Sedersi – to sit oneself down:

The reflexive verb sedersi is the most literal translation of ‘to take a seat’. Let’s have a look at how it works:

Formal situations – if you want to politely invite a visitor or a guest to take a seat use si sieda (singular), or sedetevi (plural).

Informal situations – to invite a friend or relative to sit down use siediti (singular), or sedetevi (plural).

Here is the conjugation of the verb ‘sedersi’ in the present tense:

io mi siedo
tu ti siedi
lui/lei si siede
noi ci sediamo
voi vi sedete
loro si siedono
I sit down
you sit down (singular)
he/she sits down
we sit down
you sit down (plural)
they sit down

For example: ‘sono stanca, adesso mi siedo’ (I’m tired, I’m going to sit down); ‘dopo cena Marco si siede sempre in salotto a guardare la televisione’ (after dinner Marco always sits in the dining room to watch television); at the bar: ‘dove ci sediamo, dentro o fuori?’ (where shall we sit, inside or outside?).

Passato prossimo (present perfect):

io mi sono seduto/a
tu ti sei seduto/a
lui/lei si è seduto/a
noi ci siamo seduti/e
voi vi siete seduti/e
loro si sono seduti/e
I sat down
you sat down (singular)
he/she sat down
we sat down
you sat down (plural)
they sat down

For example: ‘Giorgio si è seduto sulla panchina sotto l’albero’ (Giorgio sat on the bench underneath the tree); ‘Lucia si è seduta sull’altalena’ (Lucia sat on the swing); ‘ci siamo seduti al tavolo vicino alla finestra’ (we sat at the table near the window).

2. Accomodarsi – to make oneself comfortable:

Another very common way of inviting people to sit down is by using the reflexive verb accomodarsi (to make oneself comfortable).

Formal situations: if you want to politely invite a visitor or guest to ‘make themselves comfortable’ use si accomodi (singular), or accomodatevi (plural).

Informal situations: to invite a friend or relative to make themselves comfortable use accomodati (singular, pronounced with the accent on ‘co’), or accomodatevi (plural, with the accent on ‘da’).

N.B. with both sedersi and accomodarsi we often add the word pure (accent on ‘u’), e.g. when you enter a restaurant the cameriere (waiter) might lead you to a table and say: si accomodi pure (singular), or accomodatevi pure (plural).

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  1. Joan:

    Hi, Serena!

    I appreciated your telling us where to place the accent in “accomodati” and “accomodatevi”. I wonder if there is some way you could always indicated where to place the accent in the vocabulary you teach us (if it is not on the next to the last syllable). Maybe this could be done by underlining the accented syllable. We learn so very much from you, but as it is in written form, we may be mispronouncing what we learn.



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